Ariel Chylde pictured on the cover of Darkchylde issue #1
Homage Comics (Wildstorm/Image Comics)
|First appearance||Glory/Angela: Angels in Hell #1 (April 1996)|
|Created by||Randy Queen|
|Full name||Ariel Chylde|
Darkchylde is an American comic book character created in 1996 by Randy Queen. It was originally published by Maximum Press, and later by Image Comics, through Homage Comics, a publishing imprint of Wildstorm. Subsequent projects would by published by Darkchylde Entertainment, through Wowio.
Darkchylde is the story of Ariel Chylde, a cursed teen who can become the creatures from her many nightmares, and then must save her small town from the forces of darkness she's set free.
Darkchylde was launched as a comic book property to immediate success in the summer of 1996. The book shot to the #1 hottest comics spot in Wizard, where it stayed for nine months collectively in both Wizard and Combo magazines. The book outsold Spider-Man, the Hulk, Superman, and Batman in America, and quickly garnered an unusually large female following, in stark contrast to the traditionally male comic book market. The success of the books spawned a line of best-selling trading cards, action figures, skateboards, lunch-boxes, lithos, apparel, and mini-bust statues.
When the book was launched overseas to foreign audiences, it quickly became Panini Publishing's best selling title, overselling all of their classic superhero titles, including both Spider-Man and the X-Men.
Wizard magazine released Darkchylde #1/2, a mail order-only comic that outsold all of their previous mail order comics.
Creator Randy Queen created Darkchylde Entertainment with partner Sarah Oates and launched "Dreams of the Darkchylde" #1. It was the best-selling independent title offered that month in Previews, the magazine for comic distribution orders.
In a second interview with Nicholas Yanes from scifipulse.net Queen revealed that Darkchylde would appear in a published comic book after several years of absence. This comic book would be a one-shot crossover titled The Darkness/ Darkchylde: Kingdom Pain" and scheduled to come out in December 2009. In addition to containing a new story feature Darkchylde, this one-shot also contained preview art for Randy Queen's next comic book title "Starfall."
In 2005 the title was relaunched at Dark Horse Comics as Manga Darkchylde, with Ariel now being a little girl. (The term manga in the title is somewhat misleading, as the new series is clearly not a manga in the traditional sense and actually bears very little resemblance to Japanese manga in any way.) Only using the base elements of the original Darkchylde, Randy Queen is now expanding his "Darkchylde-universe".
Darkchylde comic books, in order of reading:
- Darkchylde Diary
- Darkchylde #1–5
- Spawn #56 (4-page Darkchylde interlude featuring Flatulance)
- Darkchylde #0
- Darkchylde ½
- Darkchylde: The Legacy #1–3
- Darkchylde: Redemption ½, #1,2
- Dreams of the Darkchylde #1–6
- Darkchylde Last Issue Special
- Painkiller Jane/Darkchylde (drawn by J. G. Jones)
- The Darkness/Darkchylde: Kingdom of Pain
- Darkchylde Swimsuit Illustrated
- Darkchylde Summer Swimsuit Spectacular
- Darkchylde Sketchbook
- Manga Darkchylde #0, 1–2
some of the comics have been collected into trade paperbacks:
- Darkchylde: The Descent (collects the original miniseries and the Spawn interlude, WildStorm/Homage Comics, 1998)
- Darkchylde, Volume 1: Legacy and Redemption (Collects Darkchylde: Legacy #1/2 & 1-3, and Darkchylde: Redemption #1/2 & 1, 2) (160 pages, January 2011, ISBN 978-1-60706-352-0)
- Darkchylde: Dreams of Darkchylde (Collects Dreams of the Darkchylde #1-6) (June 2011, ISBN 978-1-60706-388-9)
It was announced on Feb. 14, 2011 that Darkchylde would be turned into a Young Adult Novel by Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
In 2015, Queen completed the first of a series of long awaited novels titled Darkchylde: the Ariel Chylde Saga.
In a recent interview with Nicholas Yanes from scifipulse.net, Randy Queen was asked and responded to a question about a film/television adaptation of Darkchylde:
|“||Yanes: For years now there have been rumors of Darkchylde being turned into an animated series, miniseries for a cable network and movie. Are you able to comment on Darkchylde’s potential future on in television and film? Any actresses you’d love to play Ariel?
Queen: A movie makes so much sense it’s ridiculous, and all I can say is that we are working on it. I know that’s a frustrating answer for fans, but it’s a frustrating process. It’s probably best for me not to comment on actresses, so we’ll just all have to wait and see.
Tumblr depictions and subsequent DMCA takedown notices
In August 2014, Randy Queen, owner of the character filed numerous DMCA Takedown Requests regarding Escher Girls, a Tumblr blog which critiques the anatomical inaccuracies of women featured in comic art. The notices were filed in response to posts critical of Queen's work, specifically a piece of art published on the blog nine times with encouragement for others to correct it with redraws - a piece of art created 18 years ago while the artist was still learning. Queen felt his work was being used in an abusive and misleading manner, and exercised due process with Tumblr in having his copyrighted images removed from the blog. Tumblr erroneously removed the entire post, which included commentary.  Subsequently, Queen apologized on his Facebook page regarding the incident and asked Tumblr to restore the content, which they did.
- "Darkchylde Entertainment". Wowio.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "Comics Interview: Randy Queen Discusses Darkchylde/Darkness Crossover". Scifipulse.net. October 28, 2009.
- Nicholas Yanes, "Randy Queen Signs With Andrea Brown Literary Agency To Turn Darkchylde Comics Into Young Adult Novels". Scifipulse.net. October 28, 2009.
- "Why Randy Queen’s Darkchylde : The Ariel Chylde Saga Is The Next Big YA Novel Franchise". SciFiPulse.net. Retrieved 2015-11-24.
- "Randy Queen Talks About Starfall & His Comic Book Influences". Scifipulse.net. February 24, 2009.
- "Exclusive DARKCHYLDE Weta Workshop Test Footage Revealed". Newsarama. July 6, 2010.
- Turek, Ryan (October 31, 2010). "John Carpenter Bringing Darkchylde to the Screen". Shock Till You Drop. CraveOnline. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
- Masnik, Mike (August 4, 2014). "Copyright As Censorship: Comic Artist Uses DMCA To Censor Critical Blogs". Techdirt.
- "DMCA mea culpa: Randy Queen apologizes for response to criticism [Updated]". arstechnica.com. August 5, 2014.
- Geuss, Megan (2012-05-17). "DMCA mea culpa: Randy Queen apologizes for response to criticism [Updated". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2014-08-06.